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Lavochkin La-7

Commander of the 156th IAP Lt.Col., Hero of the Soviet Union S.F. Dolgushin,
215th IAD, 8th IAK, 4th VA, Kluzow, Germany, April 1945


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Kit:

  • 1/72 Eduard ProfiPack

Afermarket parts:

  • Pavla vacuformed canopy

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The main problem areas of the kit (fixed in this build) were:

  • Wrong shaped wing tips (actually beginning at approx. 1/3rd of the span from the tip) both in profile and frontal view. While fixing this error, the aileron surface detail (being originally in "shrink-wrap" style) was lost and a new, more correct representation of doped fabric tautened over the frame with rib tapes added was done.
  • Almost empty main wheel-wells: very little detail was provided and the most of what was available was wrong anyway. So, they had to be almost completely reworked. Some detail was scratch built of plastic and some corrections were done using Mr. Surfacer as well. The correct “ceiling” of the wheel bay area being originally just the inner surface of the upper main wing half was cut off, given the accurate profile and then positioned on its correct place.
  • Inaccurate propeller spinner. It was corrected with Mr. Surfacer.
  • Very basic representation of the louvers mounted in front of the engine being originally just a disc with a relief detail, while there should actually be empty intervals between the separate blades as well as between the blade tips and the cowling inner surface visible. To achieve the desired result, the excess plastic was removed from the original part, the edges of the blades were sanded off and the part was positioned onto a plastic tube mounted in the cowling interior.
  • Gun ports being just holes in the cowling front ring, while their lower surface should actually go through the entire cowling. This was corrected by adding plastic inserts to the appropriate areas.
  • The same had to be done with the wing root air intakes.
  • Cockpit interior behind the pilot’s seat/radio compartment - again, almost empty and what was available, was wrong. Eventually the entire interior was scratch built there.
  • The cockpit itself, despite some etched parts provided, could also benefit from some improvements as otherwise it still looks somewhat toy-like. Some cables and instruments were added there for more realism as well.
  • The cockpit borders were too thick and, in addition, not exactly parallel, therefore, some sanding was required here as well.
  • Canopy. Although crystal-clear, it is (both 1-piece and 3-piece parts) unfortunately thick enough to be unusable for displaying in open position. On the other hand, if displayed in closed position, due to the thickness, the cockpit interior looks severely distorted. The kit part was eventually replaced with the vacu-canopy by Pavla.
  • The joint of the wing and the fuselage resulted in some sort of a small “peak” in the lower fuselage line. While correcting this, some moderate re-shaping of the fuselage in this area was required.
  • In addition, the landing gear flaps were thinned down, some missing access hatches were engraved and some small details (e.g., Venturi tube) were added.

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Almost all kit decals proved to be of little use due to their wrong shape or dimensions: white borders of the stars too narrow, the number “93” and the under-wing stars undersized. So, mostly spare markings were used instead.

This particular La-7, before handing it over to Dolgushin as his personal a/c, was completely re-primed and repainted and the stencil data weren’t re-applied, so that no use for all those beautifully printed markings either...


P1010097.JPG P1010102.JPG P1010107.JPG P1010109.JPG P1010112.JPG P1010114.JPG P1010116.JPG P1010118.JPG P1010121.JPG P1010139-146bw.jpg P1010142-153bw.jpg P1010156-159bw.jpg P1010196-2.JPG P1010214.JPG P1010217.JPG P1010236.JPG


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Edited by Aesthete
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Fantastic build with great attention to details!

I wasn't aware that the Eduard kit has so many faults...

With all that additional work done, I wonder why you haven't replaced the rather oversized pitot tube?

However, as I am currently working on the same model, I find your build very inspirational.

Thanks for showing!

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Much obliged! :)

As for the Pitot tube, it is actually a replacement made of an injection needle with about 0,4 mm diameter

P1010097.JPGP1010109.JPG

, which seems, however, to still be a bit too thick, but not as bad as it appears, for example, on the photo #1 or #5 because of an additional margin - well, you probably have an idea, how the in-flight-shots were actually created... ;)

Ca. 0,3 mm would indeed have been better. The root part of the tube is unfortunately also somewhat oversized, mainly due to the need of drilling a hole for the needle, as I thought, a butt joint would rather be PITA to handle...

Anyway, it is well pointed and I am really glad to see such comments showing that someone was indeed thoroughly studying the pictures. :thumbsup2:

In fact, there is at least one more small inaccuracy with the airframe not corrected, not to speak of the thing with the VVS colours... :winkgrin:

Edited by Aesthete
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